FOF #2908 – How Match Game Put ‘Blank’ Into Popular Culture

Nov 17, 2020 · 1985 views

We didn’t change our hair or clothes to look like 70s TV game show guest stars. Match Game 73, illustration: Fausto Fernós.

The TV game show Match Game was canceled in 1963 for being too bland and not connecting with viewers. Figuring you couldn’t get canceled twice, the show’s writers put in cheeky questions designed to make the contestants blush at the celebrity panel’s witty banter and sexual innuendo. It won audiences back over and it stayed on the air until 1969.

The game show then brought back as Match Game 73 and was nominated for several Emmys. Its risqué humor changed the tone of daytime TV game shows forever.

Today camp culture historian A. Ashley Hoff takes us on a backstage tour of Match Game, the orange shag carpeted TV game show where our favorite gay icons cracked up the audience as they “filled in the blank” over cocktails.

Author A. Ashley Hoff with his book Match Game 101. The A stands for amazing. Photo: A. Ashley Hoff.

Ashley’s book, Match Game 101: A Backstage History of Match Game,is an in-depth look into the making of the iconic game show and features interviews with the fabulous celebrities who made host Gene Rayburn’s circus come to life as the hottest cocktail party on TV.

Listen as we “blank” with Ashley about:

Brett Somers, Fannie Flagg, Richard Dawson and why Mae West was never a celebrity guest.

Charles Nelson Reilly’s wonderfully queer showbiz career from Broadway to Sid & Marty Kroftt’s Lidsville, to life as one of the most beloved talk show personalities.

Evie Phineas, the most awkward game show contestant in history.

Featured Book:
A. Ashley Hoff – Match Game 101: A Backstage History of Match Game: Amazon

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